MUSTO Skiff 2018 Rutland Open - 24-25 March 2018.
Report by Dan Trotter;
Photos by Tim Olin
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Having just held a world championships in Australia 2 continers full of MUSTOs were delayed and still in transit so on the 24th of March a reduced fleet of 16 eager MUSTO skiff sailors met at Rutland sailing club, full of optimism and enthusiasm for the first event of the year. Unfortunately for them, the weather gods were not feeling as enthusiastic and the sailors were greeted with a becalmed mirror like pond.
Nevertheless, everybody had a good day talking about boat bimbling and new go faster settings. At 2pm, racing was cancelled for the day. A light 5 knot wind did then fill in at 3pm and a few sailors went out for an enjoyable practice sail consisting of lots of short races on a tight start line.
Jason Rickards had booked a table for the fleet at the local pub for the evening. Everyone had a great time and a hand full of people even managed to stay within the 4 pint limit!
Sailors peeled their eyes open on Sunday morning having lost 1hour to the clocks and 1 hour to the race officer who made the call to bring the racing forward. Racing got underway in a steady 8 knot breeze and it was Ben Schooling who led from start to finish showing off his skills and his hard winters training. Paul Molesworth followed him into second and Dan Trotter third who was laughing at his old man scrambling round at the back of the fleet.
Ian trotter was not best pleased with this result, he clicked his haggered old bones into place and gritted his teeth and went on to win the next race just getting past Ben Schooling on the finish line. Richard Pelley sailed a good last run to get up into third spot.
Race three started in a shifty 5-10 knot wind and it was Ben Schooling who again cruised to a comfortable win. Further back, the battle for second place was hotly contested by Dan, Ian and Jason Rickards. Dan and Ian changed places several times with Jason just behind, they all gybed off side by side for the finishing line. Dan managed to roll over the top of Jason and Ian until the last 5 boat lengths when old man Trotter got a puff of breeze to just pip Dan to second place, a decision which was controversial to say the least!
The fleet were now pumped for what they thought was to be the final race of the day. Ben Schooling managed to cross the fleet on port and sail away for another bullet. The rest of the fleet were hit by a big left hand shift up the second beat which caught a few people out. Old man Trotter finished second with Andrew Wilde sailing a superb second beat to finish in third position.
After the race finished, the race officer told the fleet to stay out for a 5th race of the day! It was close at the top between Ian and Ben with Dan needing a few places between him and the old man to save his pride. Ben led for the first lap until another big left shift came in on the second beat which Dan made the most of, climbing up into the lead and leaving old man trotter back in 7th. However in the final stages of the run, Ben managed to sneak past Dan to claim the race win and overall victory. Old man trotter got back up to 6th to claim second overall to beat his son and prove that there is still life in the old dog yet!
A massive thank you to Rutland sailing club for hosting the event and to all the sailors who made the journey, despite a poor forecast. A great weekend was had by all! Apart from Dan who was done by his old da ...
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